Sunday, January 10, 2010

Halibut Tail

Marty McFly: Doc, we better back up. We don't have enough road to get up to 88.

Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Not that Back to the Future has anything to do with backcountry skiing, but it is an all time favorite.  This sign made me think of this quote.  Lots of sunshine and fresh powder can have that effect on you...

You know conditions are grim when the Avalanche Forecaster Lisa Portune uses phrases like "You know it’s an El Nino winter when crampons become the tool of choice for ascending instead of skins."  With rain up to 3000 feet in Turnagain Pass, a group of us headed to Hatcher Pass to check out the conditions and get some skiing in.  A high pressure camped out all weekend providing with lots of "blue and white".

Where we're going (no roads used during this climb...): the peak on the left of the picture, known to many as "Halibut Tail".  We would ski the sunny south facing shot called "Sunnyside".

L to R: Jody, Marc, Brian, Bernadette.

Where we've been.  The other sunny bowl that slopes downward from left to right is called "Wimp Bowl".

Me and dogface on the uptrack.  Again a long day of post-holing for man's best friend.

Clear skies gave way to 100% visibility with this crisp view of Denali from the ridgeline.

Typical Hatcher's Pass.  Nuking winds.

Howling winds make taking the skins off a very hefty task.

Getting ready to drop in to "Sunnyside".

Bernadette drops the knee after Brian (our token splitboarder) ski-cuts the slope.

Jody drops the knee.

Me and Lobita.  No knee dropping required.  Fix the heel, fix the problem.

I thought this was an interesting picture of a redneck snow fence.  What the eff is this thing doing up here?

Marc pausing before his run down the east face of Peak 4086.

Brian getting ready for his run.  The peak in the back is Hatch Peak.

LB getting ready to drop in.

We made two big runs on the south side of Halibut Tail and a run off the east face of Peak 4086.  Coors Light's at the truck, and Pizza Man back in Eagle River was a perfect end to a good ski weekend.


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